Louis Gossett Jr. Remembered by LeVar Burton, Colman Domingo, Jennifer Hudson: ‘We Owe So Much to Him’

Louis Gossett Jr. at Premiere Of CBS Films "Extant" at California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA 06-16-14 — Photo by s_bukley/Deposit Photos

Trailblazing actor Louis Gossett Jr. died Friday at age 87 in Santa Monica, California.

Gossett’s first cousin Neal L. Gossett confirmed his death and said the actor should be remembered for his commitment to fighting racism.

The Officer and a Gentleman star was the first Black man to win a best supporting actor Oscar in 1983, for portraying a Marine drill instructor in the film opposite Richard Gere.

The New York native took home an Emmy Award for his performance as enslaved musician “Fiddler” in the groundbreaking 1977 ABC miniseries Roots, alongside Ben Vereen, LeVar Burton, John Amos, and Leslie Uggams. Gossett was also an activist and established the Eracism Foundation to educate young people about bias and to combat racism.

As news of the iconic actor’s death spread, Hollywood stars remembered him on social media.

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“One of the best to ever do it! Thank you, Lou… for everything!” LeVar Burton wrote on the X platform, and included a picture of himself with Gossett on the set of Roots.

Colman Domingo, who shared the screen with Gossett in The Color Purple remake, called the late actor “generous.”

“Was able to capture my ‘dad’ the legendary Louis Gossett Jr. He was open and generous. Kind beyond measure. Regal. We owe so much to him,” Domingo posted along with a picture of Gossett.

“Rest in peace, Louis Gossett Jr!! A true legend of the stage and screen—the first Black man to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Thank you for paving the way! Your legacy lives on,” singer and Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson shared on X.

“Today My Brooklyn Brother Da Great Louis Gossett Jr. made His transition. He grew up in Coney Island and went to Abraham Lincoln High School Rail Splitters. Da same high school as Jesus Shuttlesworth. We talked every so often about working together but I regret it did not happen… Rest In Power,” filmmaker Spike Lee wrote on Instagram.

“One of the great American actors of our generation. A personal hero. Louis Gossett Jr., 1st Black man to win supporting actor Oscar, dies at 87,” The Wire alum Wendell Pierce wrote on X.

“Sad to hear the news of the passing of #LouisGossettJr he was a really terrific actor and a lovely human being. Della and I loved him on TBAA. Rest in peace my friend,” wrote actress Roma Downey, who shared the screen with Gossett on the TV series Touched by an Angel.

“Louis Gossett Jr., your incredible talent and unforgettable performances will forever inspire generations to come. Thank you for sharing your gifts with the world. You will be deeply missed,” the NAACP said in a statement on X.

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